Elders & Persons with Disabilities Unit

The Elders and Persons with Disabilities Unit (EPDU) works in cooperation with local and state law enforcement, adult protective service providers and human service agencies, to promptly and effectively prosecute crimes committed against elders and persons with disabilities. This partnership also ensures that the victim receives the necessary protective services. 

    Officers and man at event

    Amherst S.A.L.T (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together) Council member and Amherst police officers at 2017 National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day TRIAD picnic

    Crimes Against Elders

    As the elder population continues to grow, crimes against elders will continue to increase in number and complexity. The EPDU staff is trained and prepared to respond to the special needs of the elder population and to ensure equal access to the criminal justice system.  The EPDU investigates and prosecutes crimes committed against persons who are sixty years of age or older including, but not limited to:

    • Financial Exploitation
    • Sexual Abuse
    • Physical Abuse
    • Caregiver Neglect
    Crimes Against Persons with Disabilities

    The EPDU is dedicated to assisting victims of abuse who have disabilities. The EPDU staff is trained and prepared to respond to the special needs of persons with disabilities so as to preserve the person's dignity and trust, as well as to ensure equal access to the criminal justice system.  The EPDU investigates and prosecutes crimes committed against persons with mental illness and developmental and physical disabilities, including, but not limited to: 

    • Sexual Abuse
    • Physical Abuse
    • Caregiver Neglect
    • Financial Fraud

    The EPDU provides training at the local level such as:

    • Increased Awareness of Crimes
    • Identification of Various Types of Abuse
    • Prompt Reporting of Suspected Abuse
    • Mandated Reporting Requirements
    • Best Practice Investigation Technique

    For more information about the EPDU, please see the NWDA's Elders and Persons with Disabilities Unit brochure.


    TRIAD

    Pic of Rachel Senecal TRIAD Coordinator

    As part of the EPDU, the TRIAD program plays a major part in linking community partnerships. Triad is a community policing initiative between seniors, law enforcement and service providers to increase safety through education and crime prevention. Its goals are:

     

    • To reduce criminal activity which targets older Americans
    • To alleviate seniors’ fears of victimization, build confidence and improve the quality of life
    • To enhance delivery of law enforcement services to older persons

    Triad is implemented by a S.A.L.T. (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together) Council which may be composed of:

    • Seniors
    • Police, sheriff, and the district attorney
    • Protective service personnel

    For information on TRIAD in your community, or how to begin one, please contact Rachel Senecal, TRIAD Coordinator for the NWDA, at (413) 586-9225. For more information, please see the TRIAD page on our website. In any emergency, call 911.

     


    Helpful Links:
    Important Referral Numbers:
    • Disabled Person Protection Commission Hotline (800) 426-9009
      • 24 hours a day / 7 days a week (24/7) (V/TTY)
    • Elder Abuse Hotline (800) 922-2275 (24/7)
    • Highland Valley Elder Services (413) 586-2000  Hours: 9-5
      • Serves Hampshire County cities and towns except Belchertown, Granby, South Hadley and Ware
    • LifePath (413) 773-5555 Hours: 9-5
      • Serves all of Franklin County and the town of Athol
    • Greater Springfield Senior Services (413) 781-8800 Hours: 9-5
      • Serves Belchertown, Granby, South Hadley and Ware
    • Northwestern District Attorney’s Elder and Persons with Disabilities Unit
      • (413) 586-9225 | Hours: 8-5